OWLS be happy

He who is ashamed would like to force the world not to look at him, not to notice his exposure. He would like to destroy the eyes of the world.

Erik Erikson

There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realise that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else’s terms.

Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

For those who follow me on Twitter (I am told you exist), you may wonder where Owls Be Happy When You Cry came from. It is a combination of my two favourite titles– Owls Do Cry and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

The owl as the wise old sage. The hero. The all-knowing–from a distance–figure. I prefer the street smart raccoon. Janet Frame wrote Owls Do Cry. Here is a poem I wrote for her:


Well I had the meeting. I promised not to write about it but that seems silly now, there is nothing I could say that’s negative that I haven’t said before, and there are some positives. The positives, of course, are and never could be enough. But that has been what this has all been about–the courage to want even when

it will never be enough.

The difference is–now I am enough.

They weren’t happy but I didn’t cry. And they weren’t OWLS. Nor was I a raccoon.

For the first time in 19 years I met as an equal and as a human with Haven.

No, that will never be enough. And I am still saying what it wasn’t–still living up to my own standards. One leader used to tell me that my problem was that I had standards of integrity that no one could live up to.

OWLS: it is possible to live up to these standards! Many people do! I do!

-inadequate follower

-more than adequate, more than human, human


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